Urban planning community

Poll results: Should AICP have additional specialized certificates in environmental planning OR transportation?

Voters
29. You may not vote on this poll
  • Great Idea

    3 10.34%
  • Neither Good nor Bad

    11 37.93%
  • Terrible Idea

    13 44.83%
  • Other (please explain).

    2 6.90%
+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Should AICP have additional specialized certifcates

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,785

    Should AICP have additional specialized certifcates

    AICP sent a survey to its members asking how they felt about an additional specialized certifcate in environmental planning OR transportation planning. This would be implemented in 2010.

    Personally, I think it's a terrible idea. There is already enough pressure to maintain CM credits for AICP. I work in both types of planning in addition to having experience in about 7 other areas of planning. This topic has been discussed at great length on cyburbia. I also mentioned in the comment page that APA and AICP should listen to the concerns of planners on cyburbia, planetizen, and other sites before creating these certifcates. Greater emphasis should also be placed on licensure first.

    This is another reason why I am not planning on staying in this profession that much longer. If planners made alot more money, I would be at least impartial to taking on more certifications. LEED is another area where there are increasing requirements just to stay accredited.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    the old north state
    Posts
    2,680
    I can see the rationale, especially for those specializations because they tend to have a specialized knowledge that more general planners may not have. However, doesn't APA have enough to administer? They can't even keep up with the current CM program! I tend to agree that a licensure program more the steps they need to take to keep Planners doing Planning.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,736
    Credentialing planning with AICP doesn't signify much as it is IMO (nothing against those who've earned AICP, it's just not a respected certification outside of blueshirt APA circles like a P.E. or R.L.A). So I don't think creating add-on certifications is a good idea, or would do anything other than dilute AICP. The APA needs to done more to establish the credibility of the planning profession and less to try to squeeze out every dime of its membership. I don't see how they can justify their already exorbitant costs for membership, particularly given these dire times for local governments and private-sector employers.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,036

    Sure....Why Not???

    What the heck.....I'm driven to obtain as many letters after my name as possible!! I won't rest until I've got:

    The One, MURP, (F)AICP, CFM, LEED-ND, AICP-EP, AICP-TP, PMP, CEcD behind my name

    EP= Environmental Planner Specialty
    TP= Transportation Planner Specialty (TP is perfect for this one...cleaning up the roads and all.....)

    PMP
    http://www.pmi.org/CareerDevelopment...ntialsPMP.aspx

    Continuing Education requirements are about 120 hours every three years

    Once you get more than two designations after your name.....we should just use

    JAT (Jack/Jill of all Trades)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,617
    The proposed list included:
    Seven advanced specialized certifications have been identified:
    1) Transportation Planning;
    2) Urban Design;
    3) Environmental Planning;
    4) Economic Development;
    5) Preservation Planning;
    6) Land Use Planning; and
    7) Planning Management.

    http://www.kapa.org/doc/KAPAPlannerSpring-Summer.pdf page 13 of 28

    Posted that list last year -
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...1&postcount=58
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,036

    Cripes!

    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    The proposed list included:
    Seven advanced specialized certifications have been identified:
    1) Transportation Planning;
    2) Urban Design;
    3) Environmental Planning;
    4) Economic Development;
    5) Preservation Planning;
    6) Land Use Planning; and
    7) Planning Management.

    http://www.kapa.org/doc/KAPAPlannerSpring-Summer.pdf page 13 of 28

    Posted that list last year -
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...1&postcount=58
    In a couple years we'll need to get sub-specialty certificates with additional CM's:

    1) Transportation Planning;
    a. Neighborhood, b. Regional c. Shipping Lanes d. Space Ports e. Walking f. Bicycles g. Segway h. Southern California
    2) Urban Design;
    a. Residential b. Commercial c. Storage Containers d. Corrugated
    3) Environmental Planning;
    a. Clean Water b. Clean Air c. Hazardous d. Global Warming e. Endangered Species f. NEPA g. Brownfields h. Renewables i. Landfills (Dirty Diaper/Inert)
    4) Economic Development;
    a. Local b. International c. Hopeless Causes
    5) Preservation Planning;
    a. Old Stuff b. Really Old Stuff
    6) Land Use Planning;
    a. Current b. Long Range c. Delay Tactics d. plats e. PUD's f. Houston g. Conditional Uses h. Building Permit Review i. Denial j. Approval k.Indecision
    7) Planning Management.
    a. Sucking Up b. Filing c. Standom d. Tyranny
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,785
    I work in many different areas of planning, and I think this additional certification is going to do long-term damage to our profession. It will compartimentalize everything we do as individuals or companies (LEED has already started to do this). Architects and landscape architects have licensure. The ARE and LARE are sets of different exams ultimately leading to licensure.

    Instead of having different certification exams, I would recommend that a Planning Registration Exam, or PRE, be created that has separate exams in the different specialities. Planners could attended ONLY planning schools that are professionally accredited by the NACSP/PAB.

    There are both pros and cons to this proposal.

    Pros:
    1. Planning programs would be in the business of preparing students to take the registration exam. There would be far more uniformity in the quality of education that a student receives. PAB would establish standards for required coursework, projects, as well as required internships. This is already the procedure for architecture and landscape architecture programs. Anything that is not part of this required courework may be provided an an elective. I think this would clear the clutter of all coursework that has little to nothing to do with planning.
    2. Licensure, moreso than certification, increases the credibility of planners in the eyes of the general public, architects, engineers, etc. It also could give professionals more leverage than certification for negotiating higher salaries.
    3. Title and practice acts along with reciprocity policies in each state would be created. This is both a plus and a minus.
    4. AICP currently does a good job and kicking out other professions from taking the exam. I think licensure is another step in the right direction.
    5. Once licensed, the planner is free to practice in any area or area(s) of planning that they choose. There are no specality licenses.
    6. A council of planners would be established in each state to administer the exam, similar to CLARB, NCARB, etc.

    Cons:
    1. Planners would need to pass ALL of the separate exams before earning the licensure. However, architects, engineers, and landscape architects already do this, regardless if they practice in the area of expertise for a given exam.
    2. A multi-exam process would increase the costs for taking each exam separately. The burden rests of the test taker or employer to pay for each exam, not to mention additional costs for study materials and personal time to pay for each exam. Since APA/AICP is all about squeezing money out of us, why not just do it this way and we have more leverage in the end.
    3. A licensure exam, due to its comprehensive approach, will be far more difficult to pass as s whole than one 170 question multiple choice test.

    I am thinking about writing a formal letter to APA/AICP or preparing a petition if this hasn't been done yet. Any ideas?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  8. #8
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,736
    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    In a couple years we'll need to get sub-specialty certificates with additional CM's:

    1) Transportation Planning;
    a. Neighborhood, b. Regional c. Shipping Lanes d. Space Ports e. Walking f. Bicycles g. Segway h. Southern California
    2) Urban Design;
    a. Residential b. Commercial c. Storage Containers d. Corrugated
    3) Environmental Planning;
    a. Clean Water b. Clean Air c. Hazardous d. Global Warming e. Endangered Species f. NEPA g. Brownfields h. Renewables i. Landfills (Dirty Diaper/Inert)
    4) Economic Development;
    a. Local b. International c. Hopeless Causes
    5) Preservation Planning;
    a. Old Stuff b. Really Old Stuff
    6) Land Use Planning;
    a. Current b. Long Range c. Delay Tactics d. plats e. PUD's f. Houston g. Conditional Uses h. Building Permit Review i. Denial j. Approval k.Indecision
    7) Planning Management.
    a. Sucking Up b. Filing c. Standom d. Tyranny
    Sign me up for the Standom sub-specialty certificate!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC area
    Posts
    783
    IMO It's a terrible idea that will lead to pigeonholing within the profession. Planners will be seen as only competent within their particular specialty rather than within the field at large. It will reduce job opportunities for planners looking to move around within the field. As we all know, the worth of a planner stems from the ability to speak a little bit of everyone's language, and by compartmentalizing the field like this, you really damage that worth.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,036

    Yeah....

    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Any ideas?
    Yeah.....BLAH.......

    Why can't AICP, ASLA, AIA/NCARB take care of all of this? Ok, maybe Planners could be licensed by each state, proving a basic level of knowledge about planning laws.....but that is it......

    My head hurts.......


    OUT.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    5,775
    It sounds like APA/AICP trying to justify their existence again. Besides being the object of scorn by most planners and the butt of Cyburbian jokes. Personally, I won't pursue any of them. I don't see the purpose.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian MazerRackham's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Near Saturn
    Posts
    66
    I don't like the idea either. Why can't AICP be enough? As a consultant I am expected to bring some expertise to the table in each of the proposed specialty areas. I am proud to be a jack of all, master of none. Now, when they offer a specialty in beer drinking, I'll be all in. I can't wait for the exam.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,617
    Quote Originally posted by MazerRackham View post
    Now, when they offer a specialty in beer drinking, I'll be all in. I can't wait for the exam.
    I think teh exam happens everytime Cyburbians have a Laefest at stanfest or APA National.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,785
    Quote Originally posted by MazerRackham View post
    Now, when they offer a specialty in beer drinking, I'll be all in. I can't wait for the exam.
    I took that version of the exam after I passed AICP, but it still took me a few times to pass GO
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Townville
    Posts
    1,047
    Another tone deaf approach from our fearless leaders. I think the survey was curious--wouldn't it have been better to survey whether or not the membership thought this was agood idea first?

    Speacialization was compared to "the medical profession" in the introduction. Are you kiddiing me?

    Planners in my opinion are exception because they know alot about a lot of different disciplines, you know--are generalists.

    Sure go ahead a specialize--pay the fee to APA, take the test, and tell your next glassy eyed interviewer you hold a transportation specialization rom APA, when he is looking for a planner to to development review.

    Whoopie.

    PS I also got yesterday my "you are short on CM credits" letter from Mr. Farmer.

    He says they will grant me a four month extension "without penalty." Whatever that means.

    F APA/AICP

  16. #16
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Back in SE Texas
    Posts
    1,653
    Really bad idea IMO. As others have said, planners are generalists for the most part. Sure, you can be a transporation planner or a historic preservation planner, but the beauty of this profession is the ability to speak the language of developers AND engineers AND politicians AND the public. Being able to look at a site plan and take into account traffic issues, environmental concerns, legal questions and the other 100 things we look at. One of the reasons I chose to be a planner was because of the wide spectrum of things that planners can do, introducing specializations just seems to be asking for a bag of hurt.

    To be eligible for one of these specialized certificates will the APA/AICP require you to have x amount of experience in the desired specialization? How would they deal with determining the experience for most municipal planners? "Well you only spend 33.3% of your time on transportation planning, so your 3 years experience, only equals 1 year of transporation planning." This only seems to muddy the waters. The thought of navigating this makes my head hurt.

    Smells like another money grab from the APA. I just got my dues notice from the APA for next year. It makes me wonder what the heck my dues actually go for? A shiny magazine and endless bombardment from the APA to buy books and training. Everytime I open my e-mail I have something from the APA asking me to jet off to San Fran or DC for some type of training. No thank you, I would rather work to make my state chapter stronger.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
    Registered
    May 2002
    Location
    The Bluegrass Region . . . for now
    Posts
    1,024
    I see the additional certifications as useful in specific situations, but overall as a potential money grab by APA. Seriously, we're planners with certifications, not engineers or doctors with licenses.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Arlington, Virginia
    Posts
    431
    This thread was interesting and I wanted to resurrect it because both the CTP and CEP are now both active advanced speciality certificaitons. The firsr cohort took the the speciality exams last year. The second cohort will take both speciality exams next year. Remember, unlike another certificaiton like LEED the advanced speciality certifications only require that 10 of the 32 CM's earned every reporting period be in the speciality. Also, unlike law and ethics where AICP has to designate the credits, the 10 CM's in one's advanced specialty are self certified. Another bonus, of advanced speciality certifications over another certification is that there are no additional annual dues beyond the AICP dues. So while it is expensive to the test (~$700) you don't have to pay anything beyond your annual APA/AICP dues, over the long term it works out ot be cheaper than a second certification.

    Regarding the value of certificatons, my view is that they can only help you. While I wonder about the folks who have so many letters after their name that they barely fit on a business card, most concientious professionals have some letters after their name. To have letters after your name means you took the time and effort to get and keep those letters which means you are likely more concientious than someone who does not.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 0
    Last post: 20 Aug 2013, 9:01 AM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last post: 08 Feb 2011, 9:55 AM
  3. Highly specialized jobs
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 21 Mar 2006, 8:45 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 12 Dec 2005, 3:31 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last post: 09 Aug 2001, 12:52 PM